Getting to Know Your Legislators

Taking the time to learn about your legislators is an invaluable asset to your advocacy efforts at any level of government. Legislators’ personal history informs their public policy decisions and provides information that you can use to make connections with them. Biography and background information about your legislators is available from a variety of sources.

  • We have created a new members-only resource to help you see how elected officials are doing on key public policy issues affecting museums. Review the Legislative Record for 2011 and 2012 to see where your legislators have weighed-in. Please login to access these records and find out if your legislators are standing up for museums.

  • Both the House and Senate maintain websites with information about chamber procedures, individual members, committees and committee activity, calendars and legislation currently being considered.
  • Members’ individual websites provide good insight into which issues they are most passionate about, what issues they are taking action on and the committees and caucuses in which they participate. Many members of Congress are on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and regularly distribute email newsletters to their constituents. Signing up for these free newsletters and following your legislators on Facebook and Twitter can provide invaluable insight into your legislators’ priorities and local activities. Remember, you don’t have to like your legislators to “like” your legislators!
  • A Google or Google News search can reveal additional information about your legislator’s activity in Congress or the community, or about previous public offices they have held. You can also do searches for your legislators’ names and key issues or topics. And don’t forget the local media – local newspapers and websites are a great place to find coverage of activities your elected officials have attended or are holding, or to find material such as op-eds or letters to the editor that they may have contributed.
  • Communicating about issues that are important to you, your community and your work is also a good way to engage your legislators and learn more about their thinking. Sending a letter lets them know what issues matter to you, and starts a dialogue with them and their staff.  Use our templates to send a letter today.

Find Your Federal and State Legislators

The Alliance’s advocacy tools include a complete federal legislator search. Use your zip code to identify your federal and state legislators, and office and contact information for your federal legislators’ Washington, DC and local offices. You will also find basic bio information, key staff names and committee assignments.